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Monday, September 15, 2014

Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross

Our Lady of Ransom with St. Raymong and St. Peter
The Pastor's Corner article from St. Raymond of Penafort this week is so good I just had to post it! It's a history lesson on the conflict between Muslims and Christians. Thanks, Fr. De Celles!

And let us follow his advice and pray to Our Lady of Ransom/Mercy for the conversion of our Muslim neighbors. The best way to defeat an enemy is to make him your brother or sister in Christ! And even if he isn't, treat him with the same respect.

The feast of Our Lady of Ransom/Mercy is this week on September 24th. This has special meaning for me because I attended Gwynedd Mercy Academy in Gwynedd Valley, PA which was named for Our Lady of Mercy.

The Feast of the Exultation of the Holy Cross

As we celebrate the Feast of The Exaltation of the Holy Cross we recall with deep compassion Our Lord Jesus’ suffering on the Cross out of love for us, for our salvation and for our sins. In that light, we cannot help but call to mind the many Christians who are now being persecuted for the sake of their love of Christ and His Cross. This persecution has descended to new depths of depravity at the hands of the army calling itself the “Islamic State in Iraq and Syria” (ISIS), who are going so far as to torture Christians to death by hanging them on crosses.

Most Muslims today oppose this kind of violent persecution of Christians. Nevertheless, violence against non-Muslims is very much a part of Islamic teaching and history. After all, almost immediately after founding Islam in 610 AD Muhammad himself took up the sword and led armies to force his Arab neighbors to convert to Islam: “submit or die.” By the time of his death in 632 he had conquered, by violence or threat of violence, a good part of western Arabia, and by 711 the armies of his successors had conquered not only all of northern Africa but also almost all of the Iberian Peninsula—Spain and Portugal. Their march into Western Europe was finally stopped by the armies of Charles Martel (“The Hammer”) in 732. Attempted invasions of Eastern Europe and Italy continued over the centuries, including the defeat of the Byzantine Empire and the conquest of Constantinople in 1453. Persecution of Christians in Muslim countries also continued throughout this period.

Violence against non-Muslims continued in lesser ways more or less continuously until the 20th century, (Read more....)

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